Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter

Banana Crunch Cake  

(from Bake it To The Limit)


















Image by Dennis Gottlieb; food styling by Liz Duffy

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana together in an easy, tasty snack cake. Do not use natural or freshly ground peanut butter or the cake will be dry.

 Makes 9 to 12 bars


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

1/2 cup smooth, hydrogenated peanut butter, such as Skippy

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ripe, medium (6 to 7 ounce) banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks or chips


1 cup sweetened or unsweetened banana chips, roughly chopped

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Confectioner’s Sugar (optional)

Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray.

For the Cake: cream butter and peanut butter until smooth in mixer’s bowl on medium speed fitted with a flat paddle attachment. Add sugar and brown sugar gradually and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana to mixing bowl and pulse machine on and off a few times to incorporate the banana pieces. They should break down a bit and blend in with the batter.

Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl, then add to the batter, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Scrape into pan.

For the Topping: combine banana chips, brown sugar, melted butter and flour together in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over top of batter.

Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs clinging. The bars should look golden with the sides just coming away from the pan. If the cake is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Cool thoroughly on rack before cutting. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, if you like.

Store at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to three days.


 Bake it to the Limit

If desired, place 3 ounces melted semisweet chocolate in a parchment cone and drizzle over tops of cooled bars. This may push it over the top, but we all need that every now and then.